Shoestring Lizzy Rides Again

Joy made me do it.

Hi, Opportunity! Where’ve you been?

Hello out there!  I’m Shoestring Lizzy and the other day I realized something: I’m living The Dream.  At least I’m living one of MY dreams.

I was pushing a large, somewhat snaggletoothed, broom across a filthy tile floor, kicking up clouds of “I didn’t really want to know what it was” dust and making multiple trips to the dumpster in 90 degree heat with incredibly heavy garbage when it hit me: I’m happy.  I’m happy and content.  I’m happy and content and I’m getting the rare opportunity (hi, Opportunity…where’ve you been?) to do something that I never thought I’d get the chance to do:

I am renovating my new house!  We bought a fixer!

My husband, our daughter and I recently moved out of our 3rd floor walk-up apartment and into my parents’ house (more on that later).  We’d just ended a 3-year search for a house (three years, people…this is not for the faint of heart) and were waiting for the closing date on our new home.  As that date approached I said to my mother, “I feel like a racehorse that’s just been loaded into the gate.”  I was all energy and every fiber of my being just wanted the gate to fly open so I could get to work.  Because, trust me, this house needed it.

It was tidy and clean but it. was. a. hot. mess.  To say it was dated is the understatement of the decade (and by decade, I mean the ’70s – and not in the cool way) and to say that it was weird in its quirks canNOT be stressed enough.  Even the old owner, a very sweet gentleman who had been raised there in the 1950s said, “Oh…it’s got its issues.”  Here are just a few:

  • “Kermit the Frog” green wall-to-wall carpet in the knotty pine living room (I’m not making this up)

    Our very large, very GREEN, very pine-y living room.

    Told you I wasn’t kidding. It is powerfully green.  It is powerfully pine-y.  It’s a lot of ….a lot.



Riiiiight inside the front door.

  • a door where a window ought to be in the….bedroom???
  • a window that looks out into….the garage???
  • butter-yellow formica cabinets and flowery linoleum floors in the knotty pine kitchen (a kitchen that boasted approximately 4 square feet of counter space but almost 300 cubic feet of floor to ceiling pine cabinets)

    Formica cabinets in all their buttery goodness.

    Formica cabinets in all their buttery goodness.

Ah....the kitchen.

Ah….the kitchen.  (Spoiler Alert: Keep an eye on those cabinet doors, folks.  You just might see them later on…)










It was PERFECT!  It was exACTly the kind of house we’d been looking for: good bones (even the inspector agreed) and so, er, unique that:

  1. almost no one was interested in it (we were spared the dreaded bidding war) &
  2. we could ultimately transform it from “their house” into “our home.”

And so that’s exactly what we’re doing.  Stay tuned!

Shoestring Lizzy rides again!





  1. LaHOVE this! I don’t care what you say, the knotty pine is super cool. Ok, I’ve not been to the house (sooner than later, please) but I imagine it would give it a cool, cabin-y feel. Very happy for the three of you…and you, in particular, for launching this site…behbeh.

    • ShoestringLizzy

      July 23, 2016 at 7:43 am

      The knotty pine IS super cool. But it’s going to be super cooler. Trust Shoestring Lizzy; she knows. 🙂

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